tv [untitled] August 22, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT
a parking lot. i am asking you to modify the permit to remove the parking space from precious little park space. and let's talk about the 800 pound gorilla in the room. just as if you or i were to apply for a building permit, the totality of the project should be presented to the planning department at one time. it should have been sent to the department of building inspections for a permit. hear, work was commenced without a permit. what ever excuses the rec and park department wants to offer, questions about the quality of the work done during six weeks remain unanswered. prior to obtaining the permits, this significant work included trenching, compaction of soil and formwork yet no inspections were done. in reviewing the plans, the planning department signed off because it was represented to them that all the work done
would be in accordance with the secretary of interior's standards. now, we have four permits related to this project. in addition to the 447 and 448, there are two others that are not yet issued. only one of these requires any notices of special inspection. for a comprehensive permit to be issued, everything that is related needs to be referenced. the recreation and parks department cannot cherry pick items, limiting the scope of work to obtain sign-off's and hide this issues from the department of building inspection. when i visited dbi and spoke with the chief inspector, he explained there was all landscaping taking place at the park. -- a little landscaping taking place at the park. now we have new construction that includes a new picnic area that is 3500 square feet. the change to the landscape and we're moving historic features
in what is supposed to be a relevant -- a rehabilitation project. the rec and park department seems to view db by -- of dbi as superfluous. for project like this with public funding, this sponsor defines the project and represents what needs to be done to dbi. let's consider. drainage work was done with a out a permit. the work was moved to a plumbing permit which they did not receive until two or three weeks later. the work went and checked for an additional two or three works and it was major drainage work. according to this inspection from the -- june 27, worked on the trench was complete. by june 24. and this was supposed to be non-
significant work, in an area of the park that is prone to flooding, where we tend to have dogs and a lot of people. the geotechnical engineers spoke about the soil and raised concerns. dpw says they found 47% of the time, this will fail. we have a feeling soil -- failing soil test. all this work is done without nispect. -- inspect. public works may be looking at this. this is done in serial permitting fashion. it has done -- been done without
inspection. president hwang: thank you. we can hear from rec and park now. permit holder. >> good evening, board members. i am a project manager for the recreation and parks department speaking to you on behalf of the permit holder at the recreation and parks department. the renovation is a major capital projects being performed under the 2008 clean and safe neighborhood parks bond program. it was planned and developed over course of many years, culminating in the initiation of the planning process in 2010. the renovation of the 11-acre
park includes repairs to the park infrastructure, pathways, stairs, retaining walls, irrigation, drainage, and landscape. upgrades of the existing restroom, and storage shed to meet current codes for accessibility, upgrades to the existing program spaces to meet current users and operations needs. that includes upgrades to the playground, the dog play area, courts, picnic area, and maintenance complex. in 2010 when we started this process, the recreation and parks department partnered with the friends of lafayette park to do it outreach process. over the course of six months, we collected information from project stakeholders and we held three well attended public meetings and a series of stakeholder focus groups to develop the concept plan for the renovation project.
over the course of 2011, design team under the direction of recreation and park develop the design and detailed construction documents for the renovation project. this included an extensive and complex approval process involving many agencies. it culminated -- vice president fung: can you reduce that image a little bit? we cannot see the entire plan. >> it culminated in december 2011 when we completed our documents. we applied for birk -- a building permit from the department of building inspection. with coordination from building inspection, the scope of the project was divided into multiple permits because there are multiple buildings on the
site. building permits are focused on building construction and not so much on site work. the majority of site work is exempted from permitting. we have four building permits. only one of which is on appeal today for your consideration. that is permit no. 448. i have noted the scope of the permit is limited to ada barrier removal and renovations of the restroom, accessible trouble, and issues related to the title 24 building code for accessibility. construction of retaining walls over 4 feet and the new path for ada. in her brief, she brings up a variety of issues that she feels are grounds for an validation of this permit.
we feel the majority of her issues are not related to the validity of the permit and i will leave the discussion related to the historic process and the dbi process to representatives from the planning department and building inspection. on behalf of recreation and parks department, i would like to take a couple of points. the first being as project manager, i take full responsibility for the fact that we started work without a building permit in hand. this was and administrative oversight do to a lack of communication between the project team. i do want to note the record shows that we did apply for a permit six months prior to start of construction. the plan check process had been completed, and the permit had been paid for in march. several months before the start of the project. there was a miscommunication between the contractor and the design team over who went down
and picked up the permit. we thought we had the permit and we obviously did not. during the first six weeks -- weeks of construction, no work commenced in which a dbi inspection would be required. during the first six weeks, of the 10th month project, it was focused on hazardous materials abatement, demolition, site grading. we have an on-site resident engineer who is trained and experienced in overseeing large capital projects as well as contracts for as-needed services from our testing labs at dpw as well as india, our special consultant. our resident engineer observes the work on the side and calls for inspections as needed. if in fact the dbi inspection as noted in our drawings on drawing sheet sg.1 would be required, our engineer would notify dbi
and have an inspector on the side. we believe during the process we have not reached that point. since that time, work has been going forward on the other scopes of work not under this permit. we have been doing inspection routinely as required. in conclusion i did know what -- i did want to bring up that i've taken objection to ms. gallagher's depiction of the professional staff that are responsible for delivering this project. we have qualified, experienced, and licensed engineers, architects and art -- landscape architects involved in the project. i fully support their professional judgment, and they have stamped and signed all corporate documents. -- to show that they have designed this per code. we also employ or we hired mr.
kevin jensen, one of the city's 88 coordinator is to review and approve all our projects including lafayette park to make sure that it complies with all required ada accessibility laws and codes. this project was reviewed at every stage of devilment by mr. jensen -- development by mr. jensen and his signature appears on the documents. i would request that you deny the appeal and allow our project to move forward. we are in construction and any delays will result in a delay in the delivery of this project to the community who deserves it. thank you. of clarification. when you're going through the list of scope for the permit, the actual permit application also includes landscaping. i did not hear that in your
list. >> my understanding is landscaping is exempt from permitting for the permits are related to buildings, accessibility issues, items, and retaining walls over 4 feet in height. i will perhaps -- perhaps mr. duffy, commissioner richard and can respond to that. -- reardon can respond to that. president hwang: thank you. mr. sanchez. >> the subject property is located within a public zoning district. while it is unknown historic resource, it is not an individual landmark. it is not required to have a review from the historic preservation commission for the modifications.
given that it is in -- not in a p district. review was done by the project. most of the concerns raised relate to the environmental aspects and not the permits themselves. this are best addressed in a separate appeal. the permit that is before you that appears that everything is proper in terms of the environmental review on the scope of the work that is before you and the permit and it did receive the proper environmental review. the analysis of the categorical exemption did outline the character defining features of the park and found the proposal would not make any adverse impacts on the character defining features and therefore, the categorical exemption was granted. i am available to answer any questions you may have. vice president fung: i did not see any of your standard
litigation such as archaeological findings. >> this was not a negative declaration so there were no mitigation measures imposed here but there was the complete environmental evaluation, the categorical exemption. vice president fung: is there then a generalized requirement from the planning department regarding, should they find anything during excavation? >> if they do find anything and we're made aware of that, we can address that. it is my answer standing of the character defining features are clearly outlined in the evaluation and those are not being adversely impacted. president hwang: thank you. mr. duffy. >> good evening. the building permit application and as you heard, has been
approved by our department planning, mechanical, fire department. it has gone through all the review. we simply -- they simply did not come in and pick up the permit. we did it -- receive a complaint in early july from some other residents and we made them aware of that. they came in and picked up the permit and they realized the mistake. some work had started. a lot of the time the work starts and we are not needed until some of the work is done. any inspections that we have missed or maybe we have not seen, we can always catch up with. on a project such as this, maybe grading was done and the grading work would have been overseen by agent -- a geotactical engineer. we would expect a report to be
submitted to us. other aspects of the work as well could have been inspected by dpw staff. dbi will be involved in the inspections going forward, provided the permit is issued. we will be out there. on the accessibility work, i think you heard that mr. jensen from the city had reviewed this work and my experience, most of the time when that happens, everything is done -- ee checked sometimes by our building inspectors -- doubly checked sometimes by our building inspectors. if it is a city project, the city does not want to get sued for something like this that is done wrong. the special inspections that are part of the brief and not on the building application a present need to be added and that is something that i do say that has
to happen and will happen like within the next few days if the suspension is lifted. they were on the approved drawings and for some reason they did not get added to our tracking system. i spoke to some of the people from the project and they were aware of that problem. if there is any questions, i would be available. president hwang: thank you. we can take public comment. can i see a show of hands of how many people would like to speak on this item? ok. i will ask you to please line up on the far wall. the first person can come up to speak. if you have not already done so, it would help us in the preparation of minutes if you would complete the speaker card and give it to mr. pacheco or a
business card to we can get the minutes accurate. -- so we can get the minutes accurate. >> good evening. in the president of the friends of lafayette park. i can tell you that this project and the plans for the project is the result of a lot of community effort and a lot of community involvement with the recreation and parks department and with dpw staff, and with the private architect who has been engaged for the playground. there is a lot of support in the committee for this project. the process, the multiplicity of permits, we do not know about that. we were in charge of that. as president, i can speak for our group and speak for our neighbors and say that we do not want this project to be delayed.
we want our part to open as soon as possible. right now, it is just a big pile of dirt. children have been displaced, dogs have been displaced, picknickers have been displaced. anyone who drives by it is impacted by this horrible mound of dirt that exists at this point for -- instead of our part. we would like to have this continued, the work continued as soon as possible and not delayed. we hope that you can -- will oppose the appeal because it is our understanding that will delay all this. we do support the plans, they are the result of a lot of community input, and we also do know what the cost of the project to be increased because of any changes that are made.
we did a fundraising for this ourselves and we have a beautiful new park that is planned. thank you very much. president hwang: next speaker, please. >> good evening, commissioners. i prepared remarks today but i will give it to you from the hip. i am they represented -- of the representative and a member of friends of lafayette park. i am here as a stakeholder, as a neighbor. the expense is my -- expands is my front lawn. i spend two hours a day, in a dog owner and lafayette park is a place that i have worked tirelessly for the past four years to be engaged with this project renovation. i will not go into details. i prepared remarks but i feel like they're a lot of people who want to speak. i ask that you oppose this.
i believe that this is, she raises great points but i believe fully that we need to get our park back on track. again, i have been a neighbor, but i have been engaged from the beginning of the bond process from soliciting people to support the clean and safe bond. i will speak to the fact that i have worked closely both with mary hopson and with lizzie hersch. they have taken into account every aspect, they have tried to work toward a resolution that would allow everybody in the neighborhood to enjoy this finished product. my personal opinion, which i can give here, is i never saw ms. gallagher at any meeting. i find that this objection at this time is a tactic and in fact is delaying a process that
should be completed within a year's time. any time that it takes beyond what the planned scope of the renovation was firstly needs to -- it needs to complete within a timely manner and within budget and i feel like this is doing that. i would ask you to please deny ms. gallagher's appeal and please reinstate the permit and have us get back to the park that we know and love. thank you. president hwang: next speaker, please. >> i recently bought a condo across the park -- the st. saar was not involved in any of the community meetings until i started seeing the work coming -- going on in june. the first thing i want to state it as i have been working with
shannon and ms. gallagher in terms of reviewing the project and what has been going on. she did not live in her condo at the time where they had meetings, she had renters and the notices went to renters and not to her well -- when she lived in chicago. that is where she was not involved. my concerns grew when i was watching the demolition going on. i made a call to the building inspection and i asked there was a permit on july 2. i filed a complaint when i filed -- found out it was not a permit and went down on july 6 to discuss this with donald duffy who was the inspector for this project. ms. gallagher and i sat down and show them the pictures and they were concerned and said they would go straight out to the park to see what was going on. at that point, they indicated they had seen the architect with the plants running around the building inspection place to file them so they could get that
permit issued. i find it ironic that i am hearing it was an oversight they did not have the job card which is supposed to be posted at all times at the job site. i am not sure how work started on june 3, continued for almost six weeks, and no job card or permit existed. that is more than oversight. what i want to stay here is some of my concerns with the inspections and we've talked about it. it is my understanding that this particular form -- i do not know of you can see it. this is a form required to be submitted with the permit. it needs to identify what special inspections need to take place. when we pointed this out in the appeal brief, the comment back from the responder was that look at the sheet for the special
inspections. this form does not exist with the permit plants making it very difficult to know what special inspections are required for this permit. i am going to sum this up with saying that i think that documentation was lacking here. i do not think it is clear what inspection should be and i would like to see the appeal upheld, suspended until documentation, especially around inspections, are completed. thank you. president hwang: thank you. next speaker, please. >> i live across the street from the park at 2190 washington. i am a frequent visitor and supporter of lafayette park. i want to express my opinion on this issue here tonight. i am a member of friends of lafayette park, i know from direct personal experience since
2008 that the french have worked tirelessly to help the rec and park department raise public awareness of the renovation and about the opportunity for public input. san francisco recreation and park department has notified park users and neighbors about the renovation of lafayette park and about the opportunity for anyone to have their say about it. recreation and park department has held numerous public meetings that were well publicized to gather public input ever since the bond was passed and the posted notices in the park and sent notices to those who live near the park. the project manager has announced her direct phone line #at all the meetings and gatherings to maximize public opportunity to express concerns and the recreation and park commission has held hearings to get input and get public approval. there has been ample opportunity
for objewered prior to the starf the renovation. the appellant referred to the sf mime troupe. their 1965 arrest on august 7, 1965 in lafayette park inspired the idea of a community gathering space as a minor design feature but it has nothing to do with this appeal. it was a product of a lengthy and transparent process that the santa fe -- san francisco recreation and park department provided. anyone who cared would have had the opportunity to know about it and make their opinions known, ask any questions. there was ample opportunity for all that. i am in support of the renovation project and have actively participated in the planning and development of the plan. please denied the appeal so this project will move forward and the project can be renovated as quickly as possible for the
benefit of the community. thank you. president hwang: thank you. next speaker, please. >> good evening. i have lived for 28 years one block east of lafayette park. when i moved to the neighborhood, i had done to it -- young children and they used the playground. i have had three different dogs who use the park. i am very familiar with lafayette park and had used it virtually daily. i sit on the friends of lafayette park board as the landscape chair and work with the cleaning and greening effort every first saturday. during this time, i have never seen shannon gallagher at the park. we could just miss each other.
i am -- i care very much about my part -- park and have worked tirelessly towards this plan that has been talked about tonight. which was approved in 2008 through the bond. it is very disturbing to think that one person can file an appeal and we can get a project lead to the extent that we have. i feel very certain that if ms. gallagher really had interests, she could have presented this before we started construction. when we in fact sat at my house for a week, night after night filling out envelopes to the filling out envelopes to the owners of the people in the